It’s been a week of getting to know people, meeting acquaintances (what the Germans would term ‘Bekannten’) and making small talks. I’ve been putting myself up to the challenge, getting myself up to the job, and telling myself that I’m no lesser being than the rest of the course mates who’re here to attain the same degree as I am. I’m told that it’s really about mind over matters – but it’s easier said than done.
I’m probably still trying to get through the first stage of school – acclimatising, familiarising, socialising etc. I wish there could be a faster way to get me out of this stage and into the next. It makes me feel like going back to school all over again, and it’s not easy, knowing that I’m probably half a decade older than about 70% of the postgraduates here and deprived of more than half the amount of energy that they have. I definitely feel like a social oddball. But I’m really trying. This was one of the challenges that I told myself to overcome if I were to become a greater being in the future.
‘Just open your mouth and start the ball rolling‘, I kept nudging myself. It worked most of the time, but it can get tiring, really.
In retrospect, the fact that conversations get rolling easily can be attributed to the intercultural community among us. It’s easy to ask about what one does not already know than about something you’re already familiar with. It helps one circumvent banal talks which usually result in a dead end. Come to think of it, I’ve talked to people from a larger spectrum of cultures than I’ve ever did in my entire life.
Today is the day I fulfill half of my dream – to study and graduate in a holy, sacred and ancient building in the European continent. I peeped at the stained glasses during the academic procession in the Durham Cathedral and made a silent prayer about coming back to attend the graduation – which is when this dream of mine will be amply effectuated.